Which Locker do you suggest? - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


Drivetrain Tech General discussion of drivetrain for the Ford Ranger.

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Old 01-26-2006
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Which Locker do you suggest?

I've just been looking at lockers and seeing if thats what i would want to save for and spend my money on. Which one would you all suggest? I've been looking at the ARB Air Lockers. I want one that switches back to normal when you are on the road. The only 2 i've really spotted out are the ECTED and the ARB one. This summer I'm going to look for a 8.8" 31 spline axle, but if i cant find one i'll just go with a 28 spline unless its really worth it to get a 31. If you have anything to say about any locker, good or bad, let me know.
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Old 01-26-2006
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detroit
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Old 01-26-2006
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I dont get what their different lockers are. Because dont they have true trac, soft locker, and c-locker?
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Old 01-26-2006
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Each has advantages disadvantages. So far the ECTED's working fine for me and it doesn't need the air system. I'm an electrical guy, lol. The ARB one is considered the more "professional" one by most, but I have no experience with it.

I wouldn't want an "automatic" locker. I decided that awhile back after observing them in use offroad and on the street. For the front they are probably fine, but I like the ability to select it in the rear.
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Old 01-26-2006
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Ford says that the 31 spline is 55% stronger than the 29 spline 8.8" axle, all other variables constant. Truth of the matter is that if you're not doing any really intense wheeling, you won't need that extra strength. I've yet to hear of anyone breaking a rear axle shaft while wheeling with an 8.8" axle. The 7.5" axle yeah, I've heard of them going, but I would save yourself the headache of trying to find a level II axle in Texas. There are barely any Level IIs in the southern US, much less any wrecked ones. An explorer axle is a possibility, but it's not exactly bolt-in.

As far as which locker does what, do some research. I know each of those lockers has explanations as to what each of them does. Most of the full-time lockers will have a racheting mechanism which allows it to function more like an open differential while turning on asphalt. These can sometimes get a little squirrely on the road if you take corners fast (which you shouldn't do anyways, it's a truck not a sports car). For most people on a budget these will work just fine though.

The ARB unit I'm not a fan of because they are expensive and you need to have on-board air to use them also. This is great in professional/more extreme applications because you want on-board air to reinflate your tires after airing down or to power air tools for trail repairs. It is, however, very expensive. The Auburn unit uses electricity to magnetically (I think?) control the amount of slippage the differential experiences. Generally it's sort of an all or nothing (open/limited slip or locked) set-up for off-roaders. Road racers may use it differently, but that's an argument I know nothing about. The nice thing about the ECTED however is that it is a full time limited slip differential in addition to being an electrically selectable locker.

If you've got the money, the ECTED would be my reccomendation. If you're strapped for cash, go with a detroit locker.
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Old 01-26-2006
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Thanks.
Dont they only have the ECTED for the 31 spline? Ive been looking around and dont see any for the 28 spline. Yeah the ECTED is a good couple hundred bucks cheaper than the ARB, thats nice.

EDIT: Nevermind, found 28 spline.
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Old 01-26-2006
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Carl (buckgnarly) broke a 28 spline axle wheeling in Centralia, lol -- it happens.
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Old 01-26-2006
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John had to modify his 31 spline differential a little bit to fit the ECTED in. I think he got it for the 28 spline. He will be able to clarify. I remember reading his build-up thread on the axle though... see if you can't pull that up in a search.
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Old 01-26-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by n3elz
Carl (buckgnarly) broke a 28 spline axle wheeling in Centralia, lol -- it happens.
Now that you mention it, I remember seeing those pictures!
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Old 01-26-2006
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awww ya need to go wheeling before ya go spending money on lockers.. (no offense, it's just true!)
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Old 01-26-2006
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get the ECTED and the 31...it's worth it

anyone know if it is just as easy to grab the explorer rear end so you get rear discs as it would be to switch to the FX4 rear?
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Old 01-26-2006
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i dont think the explorer one u can just pull out and bolt on, i think you have to do some work on it or something. i really have no clue haha
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Old 01-26-2006
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Yea, theres a little more work involved. I'm getting ready to swap in an Explorer rear pretty soon. You have to cut the spring perches off the bottom and weld new ones on top. You also have to weld on shock mounts.
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Old 01-26-2006
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pretty sure I remember

I believe , Johns problem with the ected was that the splines on one of his axles wasn't long enough to let him get the c-clip on so he had to do a little grinding . Also had to grind the spider pinion pin , because he had 5.13 gears . I think .
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Old 01-27-2006
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I know John went with 4.56 gears... since nobody else is going to look it up, I will...
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Old 01-27-2006
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Old 01-27-2006
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for my 28 spline, im probably gonna get the automatic powertrax no-slip system. Its like $400 and i hope it works the way it says it does
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Old 01-27-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KARPE
anyone know if it is just as easy to grab the explorer rear end so you get rear discs as it would be to switch to the FX4 rear?
No. It is a lot more work. The spring perchs need to be cut off, the sway bar mounts should be cut off (ranger bolts on with its own clamp), new shock tabs need to be welded on, new spring mounts need to be welded on. The spring pads need to be located on the axle as they dont just sit opposite the ex. ones. The pinon angle needs to be set when welding the spring pads on. The break hard line tabs need to be addressed as they are part of the stock spring pad. The parking break cables/brakets need to be fabricated to work. I'm sure there is other stuff I'm missing.

The FX4 rear bolts in.
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Old 01-27-2006
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Note the reason carl broke.. he had a locker.. one tire grabbed traction. the other was spinning.. snap.
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Old 01-27-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverBulletXLT
awww ya need to go wheeling before ya go spending money on lockers.. (no offense, it's just true!)
How can he go wheeling when he does not even have a licence!
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  #21  
Old 01-27-2006
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shoot, there's plenty of people at the creek with no license! He'd fit right in..
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